Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – why I love them and thoughts on their gig at the Ritz Manchester

So my friend Lydia and I went to see one of my favourite bands play at the Ritz in Manchester on Tuesday. We saw them play the Leeds Irish Centre last year and it was the best gig I’d been to in a long time so when we saw that they were back in (almost) our neck of the woods a year later we rushed to book tickets again.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at the Ritz Manchester 16th July 2013

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have similar qualities to the band Hope & Social. The reason I love them so much is that they are invitational – they literally invite you to join their party rather than just stand and observe. They talk about this in an interview here:

Their songs are nearly all about things worth singing about – friendship, love, forgiveness, redemption. There is something of a feeling of church to their gigs – in the best sense of the word – there’s confession:

To all the love I lost – hey just tryin’ to play boss
To all those friends I hurt – I treated ’em like dirt
And all those words I spewed – Nothin’ sacred nothing true!
To all these ghosts I turn – I’m ready now to burn!

‘Cos I’ve already suffered I want you to know God
I’m ridin’ on hell’s hot flames coming up from below
Yes I’ve already suffered I want you to know God
I’m ridin’ of heaven’s flames coming up from below

– lyrics from Up from Below – watch here:

And there’s the sharing of peace. Throughout their gigs there is interaction and towards the end the lead singer, Alex, asked if anyone had any stories to share – which people did. Here’s a little story:

On our way to the gig Lydia’s camper van broke down. We had about a 2 hour wait to be rescued and I wasn’t sure we’d make it to Manchester, but we did! And when we got to Manchester we found a perfect parking space, walked to the venue and as we walked in we were told ‘you’re in luck, the band are late on stage’! At the top of my blog (click on my name at the top of this site) it says ‘I’m not a glass half full person, I’m an ‘oo I’ve got a glass’ person’. I proved this was true while Lydia and I waited in the verge on the side of the motorway. We were sitting on the metal barrier and I said ‘this could have been much more uncomfortable to sit on, it’s actually alright’ – Lydia pointed out that this was a ridiculously positive thing to say considering we’d been waiting an hour for the AA and might be missing a gig we’d both been looking forward to. We both burst out laughing!

Something you don’t catch when you listen to their recorded music is the obvious love the band have for one another and in particular the interaction between lead singers Alex and Jade – they are simply mesmerising to watch, when they’re singing together you can’t tear your eyes off them. This song is a good example, watch them sing to each other:

I love this band because they sing about things worth singing about, they share their lives with the audience, put simply, they’re real. I have a lot to learn from them.

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